Tag Archives: Thrillers

Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Review 11/13/14

killer instinct

Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
November 4, 2014
Hardcover, 386 pgs

What it’s about:

This sequel to The Naturals, which introduced readers to an elite FBI program for teams with innate crime-solving skills, picks up shortly after the end of the first book. Cassie, who is a profiler, longs for some calm and time to focus on cold cases. FBI higher-ups have the same idea, but when a serial killer hits the scene all eyes are on the teens. The reason? The killer is copying Dean’s incarcerated father. Despite being ordered to stay away, the Naturals are drawn into another dangerous active case. As they delve into the twisted mind of a killer they put not only themselves, but their entire program in jeopardy. In their minds the risks are worth it if they can help their friend.

Why you might like it:

Are you a fan of shows like Criminal Minds or Dexter? You might enjoy the FBI procedural aspects and/or the serial killer elements of this series. Do you like a story with crazy twists and turns? Killer Instinct will keep you guessing until the end (the same goes for The Naturals…I did not see that ending coming!) Do you like smart, sassy, and often tense team dynamics? The members of this elite group are so different from each other and they all work hard to keep their pasts a secret. So, plenty of intrigue in the house alone! Throw in disturbing crime scenes and you have one exciting book!

Want more like this?

You might also enjoy How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller, Also Known as by Robin Benway,  I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, or The Rules for Disappearing by Ashly Elston.

Happy Reading!


The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, Teen’s Choice Read #1

This year I decided to let my loyal teen readers pick reading materials for me. At our last book club meeting, I asked my high schoolers to jot down 2 titles they thought I needed to read and then I randomly picked one. My first official selection was The Eye of Minds by James Dashner.


The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine #1) by James Dashner
October 8, 2013
Delacorte Press
Hardcover, 323 pages.

What it’s about:

Michael is a gamer who spends almost all of his free time in the VirtNet, an extensive virtual reality world that offers a high-tech mind and body immersion experience. Michael and his friends (who have not actually met in real life) are expert hackers and often reap the benefits of knowing how to change game coding. It’s all in good fun, until a mysterious gamer known only as Kaine begins manipulating the VirtNet with devastating consequences in the real world. Suddenly Michael and his crew are called upon to help stop the rogue hacker. As the trio delves deeper into the unknown corners of the virtual world they discover that their real lives are actually at stake. Will they quit while they can or risk it all to stop Kaine from rendering gamers brain-dead in the real world?

Why you might like to read it:

If you like high-tech, high-stakes futuristic thrillers, you’ll probably enjoy this one. I however, never fully connected with the story. As an adult reading this, I totally understand the appeal, but I found that I was not completely willing to suspend my disbelief and therefore struggled with some of the major plot elements. I really loved the shocking twist at the end! It *might* be enough to compel me to read the next book. Maybe.

Want more like this?

I might have to insist that you immediately run out and get Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, BZRK by Michael Grant, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I have been meaning to checkout Erebos by Ursula Poznanski and Little Brother by Corey Doctorow as well.

Thanks, Jill for recommending this one! I can’t wait to see what I will be reading in February!

Happy Reading!


BZRK by Michael Grant Review

I am a huge fan of Michael Grant. I love his Gone series and had high hopes for the first book in his newest series, BZRK. I was not disappointed.

Before I even cracked the spine, my very first thought was “Oh, thank God he finally got a decent cover for a book!” I’m sorry, but despite the deep and undying love I feel for Gone, the covers are total stinkers. But, this is not about Gone….

BZRK by Michael Grant
EgmontUSA, February, 2012

Set in a not-so-distant future, two factions are playing a dangerous and deadly game with nanotechnology and humanity’s free will. On the one side is a group founded and funded by the Armstrong Twins. The wealthy conjoined twins are fanatical about their organization, Nexus Humanus. They are attempting to use nanotechnology to change the way world leaders think about the human condition. Their goal is to form a world united, with one way of thinking. On the other side is a covert splinter cell of teenaged hackers using new biological nanotechnology. They call themselves BZRK. They have one goal: preventing the destruction of free will. The stage has been set, the nanos and biots have been released, and the battle, unseen by the naked eye, is about to begin.

Fasten your seatbelts my friends because you are in for one heck of a wild ride! The story unfolds, mysterious layer by mysterious layer, introducing character after character until everything comes crashing together for an exhilarating finale. If you have read the Gone series, you know that Michael Grant loves to pack his stories full of characters and BZRK is no different. The plot is intricate and complex and at times you really have no idea which side has the good guys and which has the bad guys. The descriptions of the nanotechnology are vivid and disturbing, often bordering on grotesque. In fact, at one point during my reading I swear to you my skin started itching because of what I was reading. Creepy, violent, and engrossing, BZRK is a thrill ride you won’t want to end. And darn it all, it ended…for now.

You may also enjoy Gone by Michael Grant, Feed by M.T. Anderson, and iBoy by Kevin Brooks.

Happy Reading!